Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Breakdown of a Heroine: Mattie Ross from True Grit

4/5 stars

So I'm pretty excited to FINALLY read this book and blog about it.  My friend Catie (she's over at The Readventurer now, check it out) recommended this book to me months ago.  I immediately requested it at the local library.  I waited and waited. Turns out whoever had it last STILL hasn't returned it.  But recently it arrived in my mailbox, sent by Catie as a present. So YAY!!

Who is Mattie?
Mattie Ross is 14-year-old, but she's no child.  She's capable.  More responsible than most of the adults I know, she maintains the family budget and helps keep the family farm going.  Mattie's got a strong sense of justice and is pretty much fearless.

Strength of Character
Mattie has a stubbornness that I always admire in a young girl.  She's very intelligent, able to read and write, but what I admire the most is her determination.  I like the fact the novel handles hercharacter realistically.  Sometimes stories want big flashy heroines, with uncanny abilities to shoot, run or fight.  Mattie is not unnaturally strong or an excellent fighter, but just an intelligent young woman who knows what she wants.  She balances the budgets, bargains with jaded cowboys and knows when she's being taken advantage of.

Mattie's Storyline
When her father is murdered, Mattie goes to Fort Smith to claim the body.  She is unflinching when identifying it.  Upon hearing the whole story, that Tom Chaney a man her father was helping out murdered him she's determined to make sure Tom is punished.  She makes a deal with one-eyed US marshall Rooster Cogburn to find her father's killer.  Despite Rooster's objections, Mattie inists on coming.  She knows something that most people don't realize until they are much older. If you want a job done right, you can't just hand someone $50 and watch them ride off into the Indian territories.  With a determination and intelligence beyond her age, Mattie goes off into the wilderness chasing her father's killer.

Romantic Entanglements

This book is considered a classic for a reason.  It's a fairly simple story.  It's not full of unnecessary twists or cliffhangers.  It'd told in a very straight-forward manner, the perfect voice of the non-nonsense Mattie Ross.  The genius of this book is the ability to create a believable 14-year-old heroine set against the backdrop of the wild west.

1 comment:

Bookluvr Mindy said...

Wow! This actually sounds like a really good book. I think that a strong female does a lot for me when I read books.

You might really like Partials. The chick in that one is one-tough-chick!